My problem isn’t death but old age. I fret about my lack of balance, my buckling knee, my difficulty standing up and sitting down.
I started, actually, as an analyst on African affairs, mainly on Al Jazeera. I remember the first few series were about Saudi students, and the negotiations between the government and the Sudanese rebels in the south. And then, slowly, I was speaking about Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and a few other places.
We live in a world of diverse cultures, and we know very little about social engineering and how to ‘build nations.’ And when we cannot be sure how to improve the world, hubristic visions pose a grave danger.
I will say go into the world and try to find good people that feel genuine affection and love for you, and disregard everything else about their background.
The first bill that President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I think it says something about his priorities that the first bill he put his name on has my name on it too. As he said that day with me by his side, ‘Making our economy work means making sure it works for everyone.’
I just reached the point where plot-driven novels don’t hold my interest because I don’t care about the fate of characters anymore – whether Emily marries Tom or not, that kind of thing.
The best people to provide valuable information about any society are the children of that society who belong to its culture and are part of its collective conscience.
Before Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962, he was an angry, relatively young man. He founded the ANC’s military wing. When he was released, he surprised everyone because he was talking about reconciliation and forgiveness and not about revenge.
Lots of countries, like Israel, live with terrorism every day, and it doesn’t impact their integrity. The big threat to America is the way we react to terrorism by throwing away what everybody values about our country – a commitment to human rights. America is a great nation because we are a good nation.
Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.